Local Sports Headlines: March 17, 2023

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Local-Sports.png

16th seed Tennessee Tech Women’s Basketball beats Monmouth in First-Four Game, will face #1 seed Indiana, Saturday The Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles beat the Monmouth Hawks 79-69 in the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament first four game Thursday Night in Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall. The Golden Eagles are 23-9 on the season and will face the #1 seed Indiana Hoosiers in the First Round Saturday Morning at 11:30am on ESPN2 with an 8-game winning streak on the line. Monmouth ends the season at 18-16 after making just their second NCAA tournament appearance and first since 1983 and are 1-2 all time in NCAA Tournament play and their five-game winning streak is snapped.

Tennessee Tech is making its 11th NCAA Appearance and first since 2000. The Golden Eagles snap a 7 game NCAA Tournament losing streak dating back to 1990 and are 4-10 all time in the big dance. Tennessee Tech leads the all-time series with Monmouth 2-0. The Golden Eagles went scoreless for the final 2:29 of the game but they went 12-26 from three-point range and 10 of those came in the first half. “I wasn’t nervous, but we tend to make things interesting at times and final minute and half seemed like an eternity, but I am proud of our team for getting this win” Head Coach Kim Rosamond said after the game. Tennessee Tech finished 25-54 from the field 46% along 46% from three-point range and 17-19 from the free throw line for 89%. Maaliya Owens and Jada Guinn led the team with 18 points each. Jordan Brock added 16 points along with 12 points from Peyton Carter. Tennessee Tech pulled down 29 Rebounds, dished out 14 assists, 5 blocks 4 steals and committed 11 turnovers. The Golden Eagles felt good about how they have shot the three ball all season. We were shooting the ball well in warmups and we did not have to anything special we just knew we had to do what we have done all year” said Senior Maaliya Owens after the game. “We have the confidence to knock down shots” added Senior Jada Guinn after the game.

Monmouth was led in scoring by Arianna Vanderhoop with 17 points, Lucy Thomas scored 16 points and Bri Tinsley scored 11 points before fouling out. The Hawks were 24-58 from the field for 41%, 6-23 from the three-point range for 26% and 15-17 from the free throw line for 88%. The Hawks pulled down 30 rebounds, dished out 10 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks and committed 11 turnovers. Monmouth had to win four games in four days to win the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament to get the NCAA Tournament. Monmouth will lose 4 players to graduation and Lucy Thomas who grew up in Ocean, New Jersey just 10 minutes from campus was in tears after the game and getting the Hawks to the Big Dance for the first time in 40 years meant everything to her.

“Lucy chooses to stay home and that wasn’t cool, and we have watched her grow and fall in love with basketball again and she chose us twice and she has helped changed the culture in the program “. Monmouth Head Coach Ginny Boggess said after the game.

Monmouth has a roster that includes 5 players from New Jersey, 2 from New York, and one each from Delaware, Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, and Canada. The Players have enjoyed their time playing in a historic place like Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall for the first time. “A great experience – something I will never forget,” said Junior Ariana Vanderhoop.

The game was tied 17-17 after the first quarter. Tennessee Tech outscored Monmouth 23-16 in the second quarter and led 40-33 at halftime. Tennessee Tech led 54-43 at the end of the third quarter outscoring the Hawks 14-11. Both teams scored 25 points in the fourth quarter. Thier were 12 lead changes and 4 ties in this game and Tennessee Tech moves on Saturday’s game against top seed Indiana at 11:30am by 9 Seed Miami and 8 Seed Oklahoma State at 2pm. 

Indiana University Men’s Basketball opens up the NCAA Tournament with #13 Kent State The Indiana men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season and will face Mid-American Conference champion Kent State at 9:55pm tonight at MVP Arena in Albany, N.Y. IU has been selected for consecutive NCAA Tournaments for the first time since the 2015 and ’16 seasons. Hoosier head coach Mike Woodson is the second coach in program history (Mike Davis, 2000-03) to guide the program to two March Madness berths in his first two seasons. The Hoosiers will be making the program’s 41st trip to the NCAA Tournament, the sixth most in NCAA history. The Hoosiers and Golden Flashes have met four previous times on the hardwood, including twice in the NCAA Tournament this century. Indiana holds a 3-1 series advantage but have split the two postseason matchups. IU topped KSU in the 2002 Elite 8 game by a score of 81-69 on the strength of 15-of-19 (78.9%) made 3-point field goals. The shooting percentage marked the highest in NCAA Tournament history for a team with 10-plus made triples in a single game.

Indiana fell to Penn State in the semifinal round of the 2023 Big Ten Tournament by a final tally of 77-73. Senior forward Trayce-Jackson State paced the Hoosier attack with 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the floor. He added 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, and one block. Jackson-Davis has produced as many games (2) with at least 20 points, eight rebounds, and five assists on 75.0% shooting or better as the rest of the Big Ten Conference. TJD was named to the Big Ten Tournament Team after averaging 24.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game. Sixth-year senior forward Race Thompson battled early foul trouble to finish with 10 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Freshman guard Jalen Hood-Schifino finished with 11 points and four assists.

The Hoosiers rank fourth in NCAA titles (5), sixth all time in NCAA Tournament appearances (41), seventh in tournament victories (67), seventh in wins over No. 1 seeds (5), and ninth in tournament games played (102). Indiana’s 1976 championship capped off the last perfect season in NCAA history. The Hoosiers went 32-0, including an 86-68 victory over Michigan in the title game. IU holds a record of 67-35 (.657) in tournament play.

The Kent State men’s basketball team will make its seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Flashes return to the tournament for the first time since 2017. The Flashes earned their seventh MAC Tournament championship with a win against MAC regular season champions Toledo. The championship earned head coach Rob Senderoff makes his second trip to the NCAA Tournament as a head coach, and the first trip for seniors Sincere Cary, Malique Jacobs and Miryne Thomas.  Flashes’ defense has been the key to the Flashes’ success all season. They have held opponents to 40.3 percent shooting, 19th in the country, including 31 percent on threes, 38th. Kent State also averages 8.9 steals per game, 17th in the country, and allows 65.7 points per game, 56th.  The Flashes are led by seniors Carry, Jacobs, and Thomas who all have averaged double digits in the past three games. Carry has averaged 20 points per game while Malique Jacobs averaged 17ppg. Jacobs is the team’s defensive engine leading the MAC with 2.7 steals per game and 92 steals this season. Thomas has averaged 15.3 points and 9 rebounds per game in the last three games. Thomas also recorded his third double-double in the MAC Tournament against Northern Illinois with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Indiana University Baseball puts up 23 runs and win over Morehead State A dominant offensive effort on Thursday afternoon, sparked by five home runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, carried the Indiana baseball team (12-7) to a resounding 23-5 win to clinch the series against Morehead State. After having to claw its way back in the series opener, IU jumped all over the visitors early to the tune of nine runs in the opening two innings. Morehead State scored five unanswered before fourth-inning home runs from sophomore Brock Tibbitts, sophomore Carter Mathison, redshirt senior Mathhew Ellis, sophomore Josh Pyne and freshman Devin Taylor broke open the game for good.

Ellis went 4-of-6 from the plate with 5 RBIs, one run and a double, finishing just a triple short of the cycle. Pyne and freshman Tyler Cerney each drove in four runs on the afternoon. Freshman Connor Foley earned the victory (2-0) after tossing two innings of one-run ball in relief of fellow freshman and starting pitcher Brayden Risedorph. Senior Ben Seiler threw four innings of shutout baseball to record the save, striking out seven and walking just one. Indiana will go for its second-consecutive series sweep this afternoon at Bart Kaufman Field. First pitch is set for 4:00pm with Morehead State. The game can be seen on B1G+ and heard on the Indiana Sports Radio Network via IUHoosiers.com/Audio.

Ball State Women’s Basketball beats Belmont in WNIT opener The Ball State Women’s Basketball team beat the Belmont Bruins 101-86 in the first round of the WNIT in John E. Worthen Arena in Muncie Thursday Night. The Cardinals are 26-8 and 15-1 at home on the season while Belmont ends the season at 23-12. This is the first time since 2018 that Ball State has advanced to the second round of the WNIT. That year the Cardinals defeated Middle Tennessee, 69-60.  Under 11th year head coach Brady Sallee, the Cardinals have surpassed the second round of the WNIT four times (2013, 2016, 2018 & 2023). Ball State will play at Memphis at 8pm Monday Night in the second round of the WNIT. Memphis is 21-10 on the season and beat Jackson State 79-68 at home Thursday Night.

The Cardinals had four players in double figures with three having 20+ points. Leading the way was redshirt senior Anna Clephane with a career high 31 points. Behind Clephane, was sophomore Madelyn Bischoff with a personal best 23 points. Graduate senior Thelma Dis Agustsdottir dropped in 20 points while firing off six 3-pointers. Agustsdottir now has 104 3-pointers which is a single-season program record passing current assistant coach Moriah Monaco (2016-17).  Rounding out the double-digit scoring was sophomore Marie Kiefer who ended the night with 10.  Also, the Cardinals’ 26 wins ties the program record for most wins in a season which was 26-9 in 2008-09 under the direction of former head coach Kelly Packard. 
The stat sheet was similar in most categories, but it was the sixth man which was our home crowd that allowed us to seal tonight’s victory.  The Cardinals got off to a slow start against the Bruins in the opening 10 minutes of action as BSU found itself trailing by 11 (23-12) to end the first quarter of play. The Cardinals got off to a slow start against the Bruins in the opening 10 minutes of action as BSU found itself trailing by 11 (23-12) to end the first quarter of play.  But as we know time and time again, Ball State is a strong shooting team and once the Cardinals start, they can’t stop. Ball State fought its way back into the contest after putting together a 17-6 scoring spree in the second frame. The run was capped off by a 3-pointer from Clephane to knot the game at 29 apiece. The Cardinals had a lot of help, but it was Bischoff who shined in the first 20 minutes of play after going 3-of-3 from behind the arc and 4-of-5 from the field. Bischoff ended the half with a basket at the buzzer to give Ball State the 42-40 edge over Belmont at intermission.  After the break, Ball State continued to outpace Belmont playing a much quicker ball game than it appeared the Bruins were accustomed to. The Cardinals tenacious defense and unmatched offense eventually allowed BSU to build a comfortable 74-63 lead to end the third quarter of play.  In the final stanza, the Cardinals remained in control the last 10 minutes of the ball game to seal their destiny in the 2023 WNIT. 

Indianapolis Colts adds free agent Quarterback Gardner Minshew II The next step has been taken in the complete revamping of the Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback’s room. The team has agreed to terms with veteran Gardner Minshew II, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. NFL Network was first with the news and reported it’s a one-year, $3.5 million contract. The move reunites Minshew with Colts’ first-year head coach Shane Steichen. They were together the last two years with the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s also the second step in the team’s commitment to a fresh approach at its most consequential position. Wednesday, the team released veteran Matt Ryan. The next phase comes in the April 27 NFL draft when the Colts are expected to invest the No. 4 overall pick in their quarterback of the future. Whichever rookie general manager Chris Ballard, Steichen and their personnel staff select undoubtedly will be eased into the starter’s role. That’s why the acquisition of a proven veteran was critical.

Enter, Minshew. The 2019 sixth-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars has spent the past two seasons as the backup for Eagles’ starter Jalen Hurts. He appeared in nine games and was 1-3 in his four starts. In his nine appearances with Philadelphia, Minshew completed 85-of-136 passes (62.5%) for 1,102 yards with seven touchdowns, four interceptions and a 92.8 passer rating. Speculation has swirled around the possibility of the Colts acquiring Minshew to serve as a buffer for a rookie quarterback.

Regardless how the pecking order works out, the Colts will have a different opening-day starting quarterback for a seventh consecutive season and head into the season with a sixth different primary starter for a sixth straight season. The six previous opening day starters: Ryan, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, Jacoby Brissett, Andrew Luck and Scott Tolzien. It’s not a coincidence the Colts have lost nine straight season openers. Perhaps the combination of Minshew and a rookie will provide the stability that’s been missing. Prior to his two seasons with Steichen in Philadelphia, Minshew appeared in 23 games with 20 starts in two seasons in Jacksonville. His future with the team essentially ended when the Jaguars selected Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick in the ’21 draft. After adding Lawrence, Jacksonville traded Minshew to the Eagles for a sixth-round pick. For his career, Minshew has completed 62.8% of his passes for 6,632 yards, 44 touchdowns, 15 interceptions and a 93.1 rating.